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December 31, 2010 | Leave Comment

Enterprise columnist

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Elsewhere in today\’s paper there is a blow-by-blow recounting of the top news stories of 2010. Pulitzer-quality stuff, to be sure, and certain to set off many debates in town over which story was picked No. 1 and which story was left out altogether.

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The truly difficult task, however, falls to the Above-Pictured Columnist, who has been asked once again to peer into his crystal ball and accurately forecast the top news stories of 2011.

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May I have the envelope please?

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WHERE THERE\’S SMOKE (Jan. 1) … Unable to ban wood-burning in town, Davis City Council instead bans Tom Cahill. “There is absolutely no place for common sense, common decency, uncommon intelligence and sound science in this debate,” states the council resolution banishing Cahill to Esparto during winter months.

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GO NORTH, YOUNG MAN (Jan. 4) … Don Saylor misses first Board of Supervisors meeting when he gets lost on way to Woodland and ends up at Granzella\’s.

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CANDLES FOR THE “CONSCIENCE” (Jan. 21) … Herb Bauer turns 101. Writes 101st letter to the editor, urging peace, justice, mercy and compassion for our world.

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MERGER MANIA (Feb. 14) … Peet\’s merges with Fleet Feet to form Peet\’s Feet. “In addition to selling running shoes, we want to offer the more sedentary folks in our community a cup of coffee so strong they\’ll get a runner\’s high without ever having to leave their easy chair,” explains owner J.D. “Peet” Denton.

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A NOVEL SOLUTION (March 12) … After being turned down by 24 different candidates who were recruited to replace Don Saylor, members of the Davis City Council agree to “soldier on” with only four members and a single red rose marking Saylor\’s former spot on the dais. Council agrees to break all 2-2 ties by playing liar\’s dice at The Grad.

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WATERSHED DECISION (March 13) … In a sudden turnaround, Davis City Council appoints Angelo Tsakopoulos to vacant council seat, waiving residency requirement in exchange for free water for all residents on Fourth of July.

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BOTTOMS UP (March 31) … City signs hastily drafted agreement with Southern California start-up company Zip-Bar, which provides a “beer-sharing” service for UC Davis students who like an occasional drink but don\’t wish to commit to buying a full 40-ounce PBR all at once.

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YELLOW FEVER (April 6) … Worldwide banana shortage shuts down UC Davis Primate Center. PETA denies cornering soft fruit market.

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MOVE THE PICNIC (April 16) … Picnic Day remains alive, but moves to Bourbon Street, where falling-down drunks can feel at right at home. Jerry Brown named grand marshal of Picnic Day Parade, but immediately cancels parade due to budgetary considerations. “Everyone needs to share the pain if we\’re ever going to get out this mess Arnold left me,” Brown explains.

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KINGS CROWNED (May 9) … After finishing the regular season with a 45-game losing streak, Sacramento Kings petition to join the Big West Conference for the 2011-12 season. “It\’s a natural fit because most of the teams are in California and we can take the team bus to those games and save money,” explains Kings owner Joe Maloof.

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School presidents from the Big West, however, turn down the Kings because the league wants any new member to be “immediately competitive.”

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VINI, VIDI, VENTI (June 1) … Constantly on the lookout for local expansion opportunities, Starbucks opens 56th Davis franchise inside Peet\’s Coffee. “It\’s a great way to keep an eye on the competition and get a great cup of coffee at the same time,” explains Starbucks spokesman Kupp O\’Joe.

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AND THE ROCKETS\’ RED GLARE (July 4) … Annual city fireworks display canceled after Audubon Society complains that bombs bursting in air “scare the crows.” Mayor Joe Crow-Voza declares glow-in-the-dark necklaces still legal after sundown.

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A CITY BY ANY OTHER NAME (July 5) … City of Davis changes name to “Avis” to settle lawsuit over using public dollars to provide an unfair advantage to Zipcar. “Dropping one letter in our name will actually save money on printing costs,” explains new city manager Chrystal Davis, former owner of the Avis in Davis franchise.

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LET THEM EAT KALE (Aug. 1) … City Council votes 3-2 to allow Ikedas market to expand, with provision that it not sell Brussels sprouts. “I don\’t like Brussels sprouts,” explains Sue Greenwald, who casts the tie-breaking vote.

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CAN YOU SPELL E-N-D-A-N-G-E-R-E-D? (Aug. 4) … Federal judge halts construction at West Village when elderberry beetle, burrowing owl, snail darter, kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox, Vandenberg monkeyflower, Sierra Nevada bighorn, cui-ui, California condor and desert pupfish are all found living on site by lone jogger who just happens to be Sierra Club member. UC Davis slashes enrollment 10 percent due to lack of adequate housing.

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LOST IN THE TRANSLATION (Aug. 17) … Due to several inadvertent typographical errors in a hastily drafted contract, city accidentally gives major tax break to convince “More Sake,” a brewer of alcoholic rice beverages, to locate its world headquarters in Davis. “We thought we were getting a high-tech Japanese machine-tool manufacturer,” explains Mayor Joe Krovoza, who nevertheless manages to raise a toast to Davis\’ newest business venture.

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TOP THIS (Aug. 25) … In a unanimous vote, city agrees to $74,000 subsidy for Cambridge-based Zip-Dip, a frozen yogurt-sharing operation aimed at the student crowd.

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When complaints are registered by ADYO (Association of Davis Yogurt Operators, representing all 231 frozen yogurt operations in town), council explains that only out-of-state businesses qualify for city help. “We\’re tired of local businesses always looking for a handout,” states council resolution.

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HE DOES HAVE A GREEN THUMB (Sept. 7) … Target hires Davis\’ most famous gardener, George of George\’s Corner, to revitalize garden department. Sales soar.

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (Sept. 17) … ACLU church-state lawsuit halts the annual sugar-cube construction of replica California missions by fourth-graders at North Davis Elementary. Davis Dental Association joins suit over concerns about children “being around so much sugar.”

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AGGIE FEVER (Sept. 19) … Aggies open 2011 football season with back-to-back wins over Hawaii and Arizona State, rocket to top of BCS standings.

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WONDER WOMEN (Sept. 22) … In bold move to attain gender equity and Title IX compliance all at the same time, UC Davis switches to all-female football team. With pony tails flying in the wind, the newly named “Aggettes” crush Sac State men, 55-0.

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GAS-N-GOD (Sept. 30) … University Covenant Church merges with nearby Arco station to form 24-hour Amen-PM.

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MOTTO MADNESS (Oct. 5) … “Davis: More Nuts than Winters,” is declared Official Davis City Motto in unanimous vote of the City Council (of Winters).

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A BURGER BY ANY OTHER NAME (Oct. 19) … Redrum Burger changes name back to Murder Burger in attempt to kill the competition.

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS (Oct. 30) … Alzada Knickerbocker partners with Davis Ace to open new plant nursery known as “Avid Weeder.”

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BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO (Nov. 9) … City Council declares nuclear family a violation of Davis\’ “no-nukes” ordinance.

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A CAST OF CHARACTERS (Nov. 11) … Citing declining revenues in Southern California, Disneyland announces move to Davis. Explains anonymous Disney spokesman: “We\’ll bring all the characters to Davis except Goofy. He\’s clearly already there.”

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FORE PLAY (Nov. 22) … City partners with “Zip-Par,” a golf sharing company with a unique scoring system that allows every player in a foursome to record a par anytime even one player pars a hole. Average handicap drops by four strokes at Davis Muni, while three women from Wildhorse manage to qualify for LPGA tour.

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El Macero handicaps remain unchanged because El Macero is not in the city limits and thus ineligible for Zip-Par service. “It\’s a happier town when golf scores go down,” explains Councilman Stephen Souza.

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BRAIN DRAIN (Nov. 23) … 13 East Davisites move to Woodland, simultaneously raising IQ of both cities.

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DON\’T ASK, DON\’T SPELL (Nov. 24) … To avoid stigmatizing phonetically challenged students, Davis school board bans spelling tests at all grade levels.

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LIGHTS OUT (Dec. 24) … Christmas Eve blackout darkens all of Wildhorse. PG&E blames Candy Cane Court for “energetic” display.

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AVANT ART (Dec. 27) … In one overnight operation, graffiti vandals spray paint “Deal in Davis” in large blue letters on East Area Water Tank, send city $75,000 invoice for “paint and supplies.”

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WALL OF FAME (Dec. 29) … 16-year-old resident of Olive Drive pole vaults over newly constructed 18-foot-tall “border fence” along railroad tracks, earns track and field scholarship to Stanford.

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THE YEAR IN REVIEW (Dec. 31) … Front-page story in The Davis Enterprise names all of the above as the Top News Stories of 2011.

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— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

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